Considering it's been 40 years since their debut release and 14 years since their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, you wouldn't think there are many 'firsts' left for U2. Well, after Dec. 15, that tiny list will be even shorter when Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. hit Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium for U2's first-ever performance in India.
But this first will also be a last – the Dec. 15 Mumbai date will mark the final show of the U2: The Joshua Tree Tour celebrating their game-changing 1987 LP The Joshua Tree. The Mumbai concert is produced by Live Nation Global Touring and brought to India by BookMyShow.
While logistical and geographical issues have traditionally provided a stumbling block for international touring acts looking to play the subcontinent, over the last 10-15 years, the number of Western acts playing the region has gradually increased – and U2 is thrilled to finally make it there.
This will be, in fact, Bono and the Edge's first time in India, ever – although Bono notes he's previously visited it the magical realism of Salman Rushdie's classic novel Midnight's Children.
"For me [the most exciting thing is] actually getting to meet our Indian audience and see who they are — and visiting this incredible subcontinent for the first time," the Edge tells Billboard. "It's going to be a frustration not being able to do so many things on a time constraint, but the chance to put your toe in the water is tantalizing and exciting."
"We have been spoiled over the years by the reaction of U2 fans," Bono admits to Billboard. "We're used to walking out into a roar like a 747 taking off. And we earned that in this city [New York] or Boston — all across the United States, we played clubs, we played to a hundred people, two hundred people. We haven't done that in India and we don't have a right to expect that same roar. We haven't put in the time. But we're going, and we will try to be worthy of people's interest in us."
Registration for the Mumbai Joshua Tree show are open from Sept. 18-23 at www.in.bookmyshow.com. Presale for U2.com subscribers opens Sept. 24-25. General tickets go on sale Oct. 1 www.bookmyshow.com and www.livenation.com.